Legionella Information - Newark

After receiving notification that a staff member on the Newark campus had been diagnosed with Legionella pneumonia, the university worked with the Wexner Medical Center, Columbus Public Health, the Licking County Health Department, the Ohio Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and national Legionella consultant Tim Keane to test water in the Newark residence hall where the staff member worked.

The consultant and medical experts have advised that the source of the illness was not the university’s facility.

Results found:

  • No Legionella of any type in the drinking water.
  • No Legionella serogroup 1 present in any sample.
  • Sinks: In one catering pantry, one restroom and one janitor closet, Legionella serogroup 2-15 were found at levels of 36, 60 and 81 CFU/ml (colony forming units per milliliter). The university took action to disinfect the hot water system. 

Health experts note that Legionella is widespread in the environment and can be found at low levels in many water systems. It is transmitted by breathing in contaminated aerosols and is not spread person-to-person. The university will continue to follow all recommendations from its health partners, medical experts and Legionella consultant.

If you have questions, please contact Ohio State’s Environmental Health and Safety at ehs@osu.edu.